San Francisco released a pair of players who had opt-out clauses in their minor-league contracts, cutting loose reliever Ramon Ramirez and infielder Wilson Valdez.
Valdez is a pretty typical utility infielder–although for a brief, hilarious time some Phillies fans loved him–but Ramirez has actually been a solid reliever with a 3.32 ERA in 438 career innings through age 30. He struggled with the Mets last season, but a lot of teams could do a lot worse in a middle relief gig.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that the Giants would like to re-sign Ramirez to a minor-league deal that doesn’t contain an opt-out clause if he can’t find a better situation elsewhere.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.